Travel Destinations

9 Peru Sightseeing Attractions

9 Peru Sightseeing Attractions
Written by Jane Sophia

I could not figure out exactly when Peru was rated as one of the 10 most visited places in the world by the tourists. Though Machu Picchu has been in existence since the 15th century, I think it became into high prominence only about 50 years ago.

Peru Sightseeing Attractions Machu Picchu

Built at a height of over 8000 feet in the Andes mountains, Machu Picchu has been attracting visitors from all over the world in huge numbers.

Somehow, they fail to explore Peru beyond Machu Picchu and they are not aware of what they have missed. Probably, after reading this blog post describing all the sightseeing places in Peru, they would first cover every one of them and finally keep up their appointment with Machu Picchu, the incredible Incan civilization landmark.

Other 9 Peru Sightseeing Attractions are a diverse lot such as:

  • National Parks
  • Breathtaking buildings
  • The inimitable Amazon River cruise
  • Amazon rainforest wildlife safari
  • Captivating Lakes
  • Lovely rivers
  • Desert
  • Canyon
  • Colorful mountains
  • Scenic cliffs
  • Archeological Ruins

The Most Beautiful 9 Peru Sightseeing Attractions

You name it and Peru has it. This list of attractions in Peru is long enough to rank well above or on par with other big cities in the world that include, New York, Paris, Istanbul, Cairo, and Madrid.

Huacachina Oasis

We all always wanted to see an oasis and have been wondering how an oasis would like-eh? Nonetheless, we don’t want to enter a desert but very much want to spend some time in an Oasis. Strange wish!

Huacachina is a perfect example of an oasis. If you have taken great pain to visit Peru to see Machu Picchu, why not allocate some time to visit this exemplary sightseeing place in Peru?

Peru Sightseeing Attractions Huacachina

That’s the oasis, buddy. Isn’t it a good example of an oasis? Surrounded by sand dunes, in the middle of the Ica Desert is a small pond and on its shore are some palm trees.

Look at the Ica Desert to realize the value of Huacachina Oasis.

Huacachina Oasis

The surround buildings are hotels, restaurants, and bars.

From Lima, the capital of Peru, you can reach the fringes of the Ica Desert in about 4 hours by car. From there, you can hire a dune buggy to reach the Huacachina Oasis that is now a favorite weekend picnic spot among the Peruvians.

dune buggy

For more fun, hop onto a sandboard to move around the desert.

Sandboarding

Sandboarding

Don’t forget to reach up to the Cerro Blanco, one of the tallest sand dune mounds in the world.

Vinicunca Mountains

A mere image is not sufficient to express the beauty of the Vinicunca Rainbow Mountains is one of the major sightseeing attraction in Peru. Look at this short video and you understand an image is not enough.

These rainbow mountains have more names that go by:

  • Montaña de Siete Colores
  • Montaña de Colores

If you reach the peak situated at 17,000 feet, you will be able to appreciate the breathtaking view of the multi-colored mountains.

If I were to go to Peru ever, my second choice of sightseeing place is these rainbow mountains only. The first choice would be to enter the thick Amazon rainforest and spot those numerous plant, animal, bird, and insect life.

Pastoruri Glacier

Peru Sightseeing Attractions Pastoruri Glacier

This Peruvian attraction is thronged by adventure sports lovers who take the challenges offered by ice climbing in their stride.

Another popular adventure activity in the Andes glacier is ‘snowboarding’ in which the boards are wider than ski boards. This is an enjoyable snow sport.

The length of the snow-covered area is 4 km and this is enough for the snowboarders to enjoy an hour of sliding on the snow.

Lake 69

 Peru Sightseeing Attractions Lake 69

What a beauty! This picturesque lake is located inside the Huascarán National Park in Peru. Such a lovely blue lake glistens more if there is a backdrop of snow-clad mountain-isn’t it?

The Cordillera Blanca mountain range is what you see abutting the Lake69. This lake is fed by the waterfalls that flow through the Chacraraju Mountain range.

Once you reach the lake bed, you won’t be able to resist a walk along the pre-trodden hiking trail.

If you like such a stunning lake area, you would have to spend more than a month exploring the Huascarán National Park because there are about 400 such lakes inside the national park!

And I read that a number of tourists to see this attraction in Peru are increasing and I am not surprised at all.

Colca Canyon, Peru

Colca Canyon, Peru

I think it is one of the most silent tourist attractions in the world. And I don’t know why I feel so;  I never had been there.

A canyon, when looked from a cliff, is always breathtaking.

The Colca Canyon is formed after the erosion of rocks by the Colca River that flows through southern Peru. Wikipedia says this Peruvian Canyon is the third most visited attraction in Peru. Looking from the picture of the canyon, I am sure the statistics are justified-what do you say?

The drop of the gorge is measured at over 10,700 feet! It’s a dizzying drop really. The Andes valley has so many hidden attractions in Peru-right?

The Colca Canyon is not only liked by the humans but also by the majestic Andean condor, a kind of a vulture.

Andean Condor

You can spot a few more lovely birds in Colca Canyon that include:

  • Giant hummingbird

Giant hummingbird

  • Andean goose

Andean goose

  • Chilean flamingo

Chilean flamingo

OMG! Your entire trip to remote Peru is worth with this one sight. What a color!

Another big attraction in Colca Canyon region is the La Calera natural hot springs.

Salkantay Pass, Peru

Peru sightseeing attractions include several tough hiking treks and among them is the Salkantay Pass that is part of the Vilcabamba Mountain range, one more mountain range that belongs to the Andes in Peru.

The trek (hold your breath, buddy) takes a minimum of 4 days and a maximum of 7 days provided you walk 6 hours a day.

The dramatic and scenic trek will be engaging because of the terrific views of the Andes mountain range, tall cliffs, rivers, and ravines.

Salkantay Pass, Peru

The total distance covered during this arduous trek is about 70 km.

Machu Picchu

Much has been talked about, shot and written about the top Peruvian attraction Machu Picchu. There is an abundance of guides and blog posts about trekking to Machu Picchu, the most astounding archeological Incan ruins located on the top of the Andes Mountains.

The tourist crowds have gone up so much so that the local Government has started imposing restrictions on the number of people that start trekking the scenic Andes to reach the Machu Picchu peak.

Here is a 4 minute video of the road to Machu Picchu.

The tall green Andes, the scary gorge, the scenic path and the local tribes add a sense of belonging to those who trek.

Mind boggling sight of Machu Picchu, a world wonder in Peru!

Choquequirao Ruins of Peru

Choquequirao Ruins of Peru

This so-called ruins of Inca civilization don’t look ruins to me; I would say ‘abandoned’ buildings that are entirely made of stones and rocks.

This Peru sightseeing landmark is located at a height of over 10,000 feet in the Vilcabamba Mountain range.

Though, as far as the attraction is concerned, the Choquequirao Ruins resemble the Machu Picchu ruins, less number of tourists visits this place. I suppose, by seeing the Machu Picchu, they thought they had had enough of an ancient civilization. I too would skip seeing the Choquequirao Ruins for, after all, I had seen Machu Picchu.

Huascaran National Park, Peru

The most captivating sight in Huascaran National Park is a plant called ‘Queen of Andes’.

Huascaran National Park, Peru

Yes, I would say unique and beautiful too.

This diverse national park comprises an area of a staggering 3,400 sq.km! This large Peruvian national park is also protected by the UNESCO.

You might not have heard of a mountain range called ‘Cordillera Blanca’. Peru is home to numerous mountain ranges and every one of them is unique in flora and fauna. Of course, all the mountains ranges in Peru are part of the Andes Mountains.

The next attraction in this national park as far as I am concerned is a wild animal called Vicuna.

Vicuna

It looks more like a Llama to me. In Peru, they call it ‘camelid’. This beautiful animal’s wool is said to be very expensive. Naturally, the Vicunas are a protected species and are also happen to be the national animal of Peru.

Are you a bird lover? Then, you must be aware of a great range of Andes avifauna, some of which are not seen in any other part of the world.

Here are a few of the striking Peruvian birds:

  • Torrent Duck

Torrent Duck

  • Puna Tinamou

Puna Tinamou

  • Chilean Pintail

Chilean Pintail

  • Puna Ibis

Puna Ibis

  • Giant Coot

Giant Coot

  • White-tufted Grebe

White-tufted Grebe

The flora and fauna of Huascaran National Park, Peru is a paradise for biologists, wildlife lovers, and trekkers. This Peruvian sightseeing place is a must-see landmark for tourists.

So, now you know Peru is not only Machu Picchu but many more diverse attractions.

About the author

Jane Sophia

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